Backyard weddings don’t have the best reputation. Many people call it tacky, as it usually involves way more decorations than what you’d see in traditional wedding venues. But as brides get more creative, the reputation of backyard weddings has improved. Not to mention the pandemic, which forced couples to hold small, intimate weddings. And what’s a more intimate venue than your home?
If you dream of saying “I do” in a beautiful farm wedding location, that’s a lovely idea. But your frugality kicks in, then a backyard wedding likely sounds appealing to you. After all, it must be cheaper and naturally rustic, which can spare you from spending a ton on event styling. But there’s a reason traditional wedding venues are more popular among couples, even frugal ones.
There, you can rest assured that there will be ample space for all your guests. You don’t have to worry about tables and chairs, as well as caterers because they would be provided for. In addition, you get a restroom that’s designed for multiple users. That’s a relief, unlike the idea of your visitors using your small powder room.
But if your backyard is spacious and expertly landscaped, then perhaps a backyard wedding wouldn’t be so bad for you. But consider these things before finalizing your decision:
1. It’s Not Necessarily Cheaper
As it turns out, a backyard wedding doesn’t always result in greater savings. That’s because a backyard isn’t typically designed to hold events. The lighting, for example, might be inadequate for around twenty people. Though you can use string lights or bistro lights, chances are you’d still need to rent additional safety lights.
If you rent out safety lights, you might also need a separate power source, which would be another expense. And speaking of power source, it might be required for your audio/visual equipment too. For example, if you’d invite a live band, they’d surely need power for their instruments. Even the caterers may ask for one since they usually come with a makeshift kitchen.
Another possible expense will be a portable restroom if you don’t want your powder room to get dirty. You might need to provide parking space too. If you can’t find a nearby parking lot, your only option is to provide a shuttle service for your guests.
All in all, those expenses could match the costs of a traditional wedding venue. To save money, shorten your guest list; the fewer your guests, the fewer the entertainment you may provide. You may omit the live band, going for some romantic music instead, which you can blare from your Bluetooth speaker. You may also save some bucks on the lighting because your existing outdoor lights may be enough for your meager group.
2. The Logistics
Aside from the parking and other logistical factors mentioned above, you also need to consider the tables and chairs, catering style, and the space for the catering staff. Caterers usually include tables and chairs in their package, but what if your backyard isn’t big enough for those furniture pieces? If a single, long table fits the space better, then you can save money if your caterer provides that, too. Otherwise, you’d need a different source for that table.
The catering staff would need a space for washing the dishes as well. If your backyard can’t fit their makeshift kitchen equipment, will you be willing to lend them your kitchen? If you’re okay with that, there should be someone to watch the staff work inside your house for security purposes. But will you let that person be left out from your wedding because of their guard duties? Think about this carefully before using your backyard as a venue.
3. Venue Styling
In this backyard wedding featured in Bridal Guide, the decorations were minimal. There was only a trellis adorned with roses at the altar. The chairs were the ordinary folding type, painted white. They were rearranged to surround tables after the ceremony.
The star of the wedding was the table setting. They were simple but striking, featuring lilac-colored roses, a lace tablecloth, and artfully folded napkins. The caterers styled up the pastries as well, making them Instagram-able. Old-school games were also played, providing unplugged entertainment that feels refreshing nowadays.
That backyard wedding proved that casual doesn’t have to look cheap, and common decorations don’t have to look tacky. So if you’re worried that a minimal venue styling would look bland, you’re probably wrong. In fact, simpler designs tend to be more appealing, as they train the focus on the event itself rather than the aesthetics. And in your wedding, you and your groom should be the stars, not the embellishments.
Once you’ve decided that the pros and cons of a backyard wedding won’t change your mind, then you can start planning for your big day. Don’t forget to enlist a wedding planner; they’re also a necessity in a backyard wedding.